Comic-Con 2010: Whedon & Abrams Talk ‘Avengers’, ‘Super 8′ & More

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 6:10 pm,

EW organized what might be THE premiere geek panel at Comic-Con 2010. The magazine’s “Visionaries Panel” featured  none other than geek-gods J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) and Joss Whedon (Serenity).

Conversation ranged from the Whedon/Abrams classic collection – Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Felicity – to the upcoming projects from the two “visionaries” that every geek is clamoring about (Marvel’s Avengers and Abrams’ mystery alien movie, Super 8). We’ve got the recap here.

Getting the important stuff out of the way upfront, here are a few little notes about both Whedon and Abram’s upcoming projects:

  • Whedon confirmed that he is in fact directing The Avengers for Marvel.
  • Whedon wouldn’t drop Avengers story details but confirmed he’s reworking the script at the moment.
  • Whedon is staying faithful to both the traditional tone of The Avengers comics and the new version of the characters being established in the new Marvel movies. He claims writing the team ensemble film will be aided by the fact that he knows the actors playing each part and what kind of feel each of the lead-in films – Iron Man, Thor and Captain America – will have.
  • Abrams confirmed that shooting on Super 8 will commence in September.
  • Super 8 will NOT be 3D (Can’t yet say the same about The Avengers).
  • No Super 8 footage was shown – because they haven’t shot any yet (see above).

Now that the major news is out of the way, onto some of the more intricate details extracted from the meeting of these two great geek minds:

  • Whedon and Abrams have actually met before, working for WB in the 90s, on shows like Buffy and Felicity. Not that that’s something I would bring up icon razz Comic Con 2010: Whedon & Abrams Talk Avengers, Super 8 & More .
  • Each of the filmmakers has had a real geek moment at one point: Whedon own an egg from Alien (he claimed he had to “bury the franchise” by writing Alien Resurrection to get it). Abrams owns the tongue from The Exorcist.
  • Joss Whedon was a born storyteller (read: nerd) – Abrams started out doing magic tricks but decided ‘magic nerds are worse than comic book nerds.’
  • Whedon’s Cabin In The Woods is done and still waiting to hit theaters; unfortunately the MGM bankruptcy is holding it up indefinitely. Whedon isn’t interested in converting it to 3D – he believes you should only use that format when appropriate.
  • A Dr. Horrible sequel is something Whedon is still interested in – but only on his terms, when the time is right. He’s really proud of the impact it had – giving power back to the artist via the Internet.
  • Whedon gets angry about the ending of  The Empire Strikes Back because he feels it’s not a ‘real’ ending – it’s just a stopping point. I’ll let you readers debate that one ;-).
  • Both Abrams and Whedon professed a love for serialized TV shows, even though they’re a hard sell to the networks. Whedon summed it up by using the sitcom show Cheers: people might not remember every individual episode of Cheers, but they certainly remember the serialized storylines, such as the epic Sam and Diane romance.
  • Neither Whedon nor Abrams is ready yet to launch their own TV channels – the demand would be too great.
  • Whedon gushed over how much he liked J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot – much to the embarrassment of Abrams.

Finally for you fans of the now-deceased Joss Whedon series Dollhouse, here’s a quick quote that highlights Whedon’s opinion on the show’s failure, and why he feels his new home with Marvel will work out better:

“I was…trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I learned that you should know your audience. I’m at Marvel right now and I’m extremely happy. They’re the studio, they know what they want.”

That about sums up one of the great panels of Comic-Con 2010 – we’ll try to get you updated with video of the “Visionaries Panel” as soon as becomes available. Stay tuned.

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  1. At first I was excited about this post. Then I read it, and I confess…sometimes, just sometimes, there’s good reason to skip comic-con…or at least this lame duck panel.

    Let me summarize:

    - The main stuff are things already confirmed/expected.
    - No news on Star Trek, so it would seem.
    - Not much to say about The Avengers or Super 8

    Tune the same time next year, when there’s something to talk about.
    Sorry for bringing the ants to the picnic.

  2. Ha good points Darren,,, What’s with the pillow fight… Were they tickling each other between questions?
    I hope this Con breaks something new for a change…

    • I think the TRON Legacy footage and presentation is outstanding. The cool thing about it is that in the past two years, the production had something to show at Comic con, be it test footage, concept art and the like.

  3. Agreed. Yawn….
    After the panel, they each began work on their new projects. Abrams on his patchwork quilt depicting the American revolution, and Whedon continued to perfect his white mocha latte recipe.

  4. I actually have Obi Wan’s stunt lightsaber from ROTS, and Jason Vorhees’s mask from Friday the 13th Part 5.

    I was really hoping they were gonna work together on the Avengers film. Would’ve been an awesome directing duo.

    • That would be something, wouldn’t it? When we all find out Wasp is played by Keri Russell! lol

  5. Wow I was really anticipating this panel maybe more than any other now I’m just really dissapointed. I can’t help but wonder what the point was.

    • Face Time :P lol…

  6. Man, if Whedon started producing a TV show based on a lesser known Marvel property… that would be sweet.

    And Wheon and Abrams should totally go into business together and produce their own, joint TV channel.

  7. I’d pay for a Whedon and Abrams tv show! As long as it had new programming of course!

  8. So they told us what exactly? No footage, no actual news on Star Trek or The Avengers, what a complete waste of time.

    Whedon is too small time to be in charge of The Avengers, it is really the comic book sink or swim movie, if it sucks then the consequences will be far reaching.

    Everyone seems to love the guy, and I cant work out why.

    Buffy was good at the time, rewatch it now its truly cringeworthy.

    Angel is good, its aged better, but Whedon’s involvement beyond season 2 was minimal.

    Firefly, again not bad, but if it had been on for years would people still hold it in such high esteem?

    Serenity wasnt bad either but it hardly caught the wider publics imagination.

    Dollhouse was just terrible, everything about it was bad bad bad.

    Everything he writes is the same, you will sit down to the Avengers and try and guess which one of them dies in a heroic sacrifice, which female character will ultimately save the day, who will come back from the dead. His run on Astonishing X Men was the same, it read like Buffy but with mutants.

    • I’d say that almost sums up my thoughts on Whedon’s abilities..I don’t get it at all..I always found Buffy f@#^&*! annoying.. Just didn’t get Firefly or Serenity..I think he is overrated but at the same time I hope the Avengers doesn’t disappoint because I want to see more than one film get made…an expensive bomb will kill this franchise as well as all associated character franchises as well..

      • Well, thats the bigger issue at large, it only takes one massive high profile catastrophe (Batman And Robin) to damage not just a franchise but a genre as a whole. Frankly Whedon just doesnt have the talent to pull this off, he has never really worked with big hollywood actors before, The Avengers could be the one that brings comic book movies down to their knees. For Marvel at the very least.

        I dont want anyone to think I want The Avengers to fail, because I dont and I want it to be cool, but it is the one to be the most worried about.

  9. I simply don’t understand with such an important film as “The Avengers” why MARVEL / DISNEY weren’t able to attract an experienced ( A list ) Director. Did they even try?

    If Whedon succeeds with a faithful and accurate representation of these characters and making “The Avengers” a phenomenal blockbuster epic, I will change my mind, but frankly right now I still perceive him as an episodic TV director instead of a real cinematic auteur.

    • I will take a “good” movie from Whedon because he hasn’t done anything yet that I can say was good or that I at least enjoyed as mindless entertainment…

  10. Yeah I’ve been getting bashed for years with that opinion GK333,,,

    I made it through Serenity but it just didn’t blow me away like it did so many others,,,

    • Serenity was GREAT, say what you will about it, i dont care lol.790, a while back you said that you blamed whedon for the pansy ass vamps we have these days, and i cant argue that lol.

    • they can always hand the damned thing over to brett rattner

      • Yeah they could do that… :P In a fit of pique.

  11. Anthony I liked “Serenity” up until the gymnastic shootout part in the 3rd act.

    For fans that bash Star Trek Voyager, that was sooo Star Trek Voyager!!!!!

  12. Serenity was great. The opening Steadicam shot alone is incredible.

    • I agree though the camera work in everything Wheadon does is usually great. He does a lot of things other directors seem to be afraid of doing. I particularly love his giant one shots. To watch actors go for 4 or 6 mins with out any quick cuts is just very enjoyable.